Mind Control

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NEW!!! “Human enhancement” !!!

NEW!!! Human enhancement

March 10, 2010

Computer-generated image of a human brain

What “Irrelevance” Means and What It Doesn’t

I have proposed that a scenario of slower-than-disruptive tech development over the next 15-20 years combined with weak or reduced opposition to human enhancement could result in “increasing irrelevance” for transhumanists. But what exactly does that mean? (IEET)

Posted by Bioethics Pundit
Posted in Biotech, Human Enhancement, News, Transhumanism
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January 25, 2010

Problems of Transhumanism: Liberal Democracy vs. Technocratic Absolutism

Transhumanists, like Enlightenment partisans in general, believe that human nature can be improved but are conflicted about whether liberal democracy is the best path to betterment. The liberal tradition within the Enlightenment has argued that individuals are best at finding their own interests and should be left to improve themselves in self-determined ways. But many people are mistaken about their own best interests, and more rational elites may have a better understanding of the general good. Enlightenment partisans have often made a case for modernizing monarchs and scientific dictatorships. Transhumanists need to confront this tendency to disparage liberal democracy in favor of the rule by dei ex machina and technocratic elites. (IEET)

November 25, 2009


Morphological Freedom

In 2003, the idea that one might have a freedom to change one’s body and brain as one liked was being discussed in relation to the Transhumanist FAQ. This idea receives much less attention in the current FAQ, where it is largely replaced by a lesser freedom to enhance. This is interesting, because morphological freedom has significant implications. (IEET)

November 20, 2009

The Singularity Is Near—Future for Artificial Intelligence

IBM’s Blue Gene brain simulation has made gains in one of the most sophisticated tasks man has ever taken on—creating artificial intelligence (AI). With the true AI milestone comes the dawn of the singularity, when computers overtake humans. Contributing editor Glenn Reynolds looks into the future and wonders; what happens after the singularity? (Popular Mechanics)

November 4, 2009

New Issue of Philosophy & Public Affairs is Now Available

Philosophy & Public Affairs (Volume 37, Issue 4, Fall 2009) is now available by subscription only.

Articles Include:

  • “The Normative Insignificance of Neuroscience” by Selim Berker, 293-329.
  • “Neuroscience and Moral Reasoning: A Note on Recent Research” by F.M. Kamm, 330-345.
  • “Moral Status and Human Enhancement” by Allen Buchanan, 346-414.

September 24, 2009


Kurzweil: ‘a world where humans become cyborgs’ only 20 years away

61-year-old Arthur C. Clarke Lifetime Achievement Award winner, futurist and inventor guy Ray Kurzweil has made a lot of wild predictions that end up being appealing or terrifying. One of those is his belief that, within the next 20-25 years, our mastery of nanotechnology will be at such a level that we’ll basically be immortal cyborgs. So, hey — how’s that sound? (DVICE)

September 3, 2009

What are the Dangers and Benefits of Transhumanism?


Transhumanism is, essentially, the advanced tech-art of improving both the physical and mental capacities of human beings with the aid of existing and emerging 21st century technologies in the Bio, Info and Nano (BIN) spheres. At present, transhumanism is fast becoming an international intellectual and cultural movement supporting the use of science and technology to improve human mental and physical characteristics and capacities. Transhumanism is symbolised by H+ or h+ and is often used as a synonym for “Human Enhancement”. (mi2g)

August 20, 2009

Lab Bench Ethics: Everyday Practice of Science: Where Intuition and Passion Meet Objectivity and Logic

Many practitioners, for instance, do not realize that their scientific research may have ethical ramifications, Grinnell said. When scientists repeat their experiments, they accumulate ten to fifteen notebooks with many sets of data that eventually become a paper. (Science Progress)

June 24, 2009

Red Brain

New Issue of Artificial Intelligence Review is Now Available

Artificial Intelligence Review (Volume 28, Number 3, October 2007) is now available by subscription only.

Articles Include:

  • “Human–Computer input and output techniques: an analysis of current research and promising applications” by Marco Porta, 197-226.

June 16, 2009

New Issue of Dialog is Now Available

Dialog (Volume 48, Issue 2, Summer 2009) is now available by subscription only.

Articles Include:

  • “Animals and the Image of God in the Bible and Beyond ” by Joshua M. Moritz, 134-146.
  • “The Animal that Aspires to be an Angel: The Challenge of Transhumanism” by Philip Hefner, 158-167.
  • “Human Dignity—A Theological and Confucian Discussion” by Pilgrim W.K. LO, 168-178.


June 9, 2009

Book Review: Medical Enhancement and Posthumanity (The International Library of Ethics, Law and Technology)

The notions of biomedical enhancement and our possible posthuman future are very much, so to speak, topics du jour in the bioethical literature. Over the past few years a number of books have appeared that address the ethical issues that surround our using medical technology not simply to treat disorders, but to increase our capacities beyond their normal range, perhaps even to the point where we no longer can be counted as human. These include landmark works by John Harris (Enhancing Evolution) and Michael Sandel (The Case Against Perfection), along with other excellent and thought-provoking works by the likes of Jürgen Habermas and Francis Fukuyama, as well as a first-rate edited collection (Human Enhancement) produced by Julian Savulescu and Nick Bostrom. (Metapsychology)

May 11, 2009

Transhumanism: Does Enhancement Kill “You”?

Dr. Susan Schneider, IEET fellow and assistant professor of philosophy and an affiliated faculty member with Penns Center for Cognitive Neuroscience and the Institute for Research in Cognitive Science, speaks at a UPenn Media Seminar on Neuroscience and Society on philosophical controversies surrounding cognitive enhancement. (IEET)

May 7, 2009

Ray Kurzweil: A singular view of the future


For inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil, being human with limited intelligence and doomed biology was never good enough. So he came up with an idea called the Singularity – a time when humans merge with machines, become smart and live forever. From MIT to the White House, people either hate the idea or can’t wait for it to happen. So, asks Liz Else, will any of us live long enough to see it? (New Scientist)

May 1, 2009

EU advises on posthuman cyborg future

Philosophers and engineers have debated whether or not we are all gradually becoming post-human cyborgs for decades. Now, the European Parliament is meeting to debate the issues next month.

The European Parliament is set to debate issues surrounding smart drugs, cybernetic body enhancements, cosmetic surgery and more over the coming months to “establish an advisory committee on all aspects of human enhancement, the first committee of its kind.” (TechRadar UK)

Transhumanism and the Limits of Democracy

What is transhumanism? A pretty good definition is offered by bioethicist and transhumanist James Hughes who states that transhumanism is “the idea that humans can use reason to transcend the limitation of the human condition.”[i] Specifically, transhumanists welcome the development of intimate technologies that will enable people to boost their life spans, enhance their intellectual capacities, augment their athletic abilities, and choose their preferred emotional states. What’s particularly noteworthy is that Hughes argues that democratic decision-making is central to the task of guiding humanity into the transhuman future. (Reason Magazine)

April 24, 2009

A crash course in emerging technologies

In a spare one-room office at Nasa’s Silicon Valley campus, a small band of futurists is plotting to save the world. The means are not a revolutionary technology or a new world order (though both may be byproducts). Rather, a new, pseudo-academic institution called Singularity ­University is going to solve our grand challenges: poverty, hunger, energy scarcity and climate change. Among others. Through a combination of techno-optimism, wide-eyed idealism and belief in the perfectibility of human beings, these well-connected geeks are creating an institution meant to legitimise their most extreme thinking. (Financial Times)

April 14, 2009

New Issue of Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy is Now Available

Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy (Volume 12, Number 2, May 2009) is now available by subscription only.

Articles Include:

  • “Human nature, medicine & health care” by Bert Gordijn and Wim Dekkers, 119.
  • “Medical technologies and the life world: an introduction to the theme” by Fredrik Svenaeus, 121-123.
  • “Genomics and identity: the bioinformatisation of human life” by Hub Zwart, 125-136.
  • “Self and other in global bioethics: critical hermeneutics and the example of different death concepts” by Kristin Zeiler, 137-145.
  • “The silencing of Kierkegaard in Habermas’ critique of genetic enhancement” by Karin Christiansen, 147-156.
  • “The hermeneutic challenge of genetic engineering: Habermas and the transhumanists” by Andrew Edgar, 157-167.
  • “The ethics of self-change: becoming oneself by way of antidepressants or psychotherapy?” by Fredrik Svenaeus, 169-178.
  • “Living longer: age retardation and autonomy” by Elisabeth Hildt, 179-185.
  • “Preimplantation genetic diagnosis: does age of onset matter (anymore)?” by Timothy Krahn, 187-202.
  • “Should or should not forensic psychiatrists think about free will?” by Gerben Meynen, 203-212.
  • “Rationality and religion in the public debate on embryo stem cell research and prenatal diagnostics” by Bjørn K. Myskja, 213-224.

March 23, 2009

Nietzche, the Overhuman, and Transhumanism

When I first became familiar with the transhumanist movement, I immediately thought that there were many fundamental similarities between transhumanism and Nietzsche’s philosophy, especially concerning the concept of the posthuman and that of Nietzsche’s overhuman. This is what I wish to show in this article. I am employing the term “overhuman instead of “overman,” because in German the term Übermensch can apply to both sexes, which the notion overhuman can, but overman cannot. I discovered, however, that Bostrom, a leading transhumanist, rejects Nietzsche as an ancestor of the transhumanist movement, as he claims that there are merely some “surface-level similarities with the Nietzschean vision” (Bostrom 2005a, 4). (Journal of Evolution & Technology)

February 6, 2009

Future Minds: Transhumanism, Cognitive Enhancement and the Nature of Persons

Abstract: After covering the basic tenets of Transhumanism, I discuss what I take to be the most important philosophical element of the transhumanist picture—its unique perspective on the nature and development of persons. Examining the enhancement issue through the vantage point of the metaphysical problem of personal identity presents a serious challenge to Transhumanism. Indeed, this is a pressing issue for any argument made for or against enhancement. (IEET)

January 21, 2009

Teilhard and Transhumanism

The Journal of Evolution and Technology of the IEET has a very interesting and thoughtful article by Eric Steinhart on Teilhard de Chardin and Transhumanism.

Teilhard is almost surely the first to discuss the acceleration of technological progress to a Singularity in which human intelligence will become super-intelligence. He discusses the spread of human intelligence into the universe and its amplification into a cosmic intelligence. (IEET)

January 5, 2009

New Issue of Artificial Life and Robotics is Now Available

Artificial Life and Robotics (Volume 13, Number 1, December 2008) is now available by subscription only.

Articles Include:

  • “Human breeders for evolving robots” by Orazio Miglino, Onofrio Gigliotta, Michela Ponticorvo and Henrik H. Lund, 1-4.
  • “Stochastic determinism underlying life: systematic theory for assisting the synthesis of artificial cells and new medicines” by Ken Naitoh, 10-17.
  • “Engine for cerebral development” by Ken Naitoh, 22-26.
  • “A human-machine cooperative system for generating sign language animation using thermal image” by Taro Asada, Yasunari Yoshitomi and Risa Hayashi, 36-40.
  • “Inevitability of spiral-shape in DNA” by Ken Naitoh and Motohide Yahiro, 77-80.
  • “Backward movement control with two-trailer truck system using genetic programming” by Takanori Ogawa, Naoki Oshiro and Hiroshi Kinjo, 89-93.
  • “An integrated circuit design of a silicon neuron and its measurement results” by Munehisa Sekikawa, Takashi Kohno and Kazuyuki Aihara, 116-119.
  • “Adaptive crossover, mutation and selection using fuzzy system for genetic algorithms” by Soung-Min Im and Ju-Jang Lee, 129-133.
  • “A probabilistic simulator for population dynamics of quasispecies” by Masayuki Fujisawa and Yoshiteru Ishida, 167-171.
  • “Reverse engineering of spatial patterns in cellular automata” by Yuuichi Ichise and Yoshiteru Ishida, 172-175.
  • “The medical diagnostic support system using extended Rough Neural Network and Multiagent” by Daisuke Yamaguchi, Fumiyo Katayama, Muneo Takahashi, Masataka Arai and Kenneth J. Mackin, 184-187.
  • “The diversification of proto-cells driven by membrane permselectivity” by Masaomi Hatakeyama and Takashi Hashimoto, 194-198.
  • “Design of robotic behavior that imitates animal consciousness” by Eiji Hayashi and Motoki Shimono, 203-208.

Next Page »

Magnus Olsson (SWEDEN)

                Magnus Olsson

7 Replies

  1. LEUVEN, Belgium — IMEC has created a novel brain implant chip that uses CMOS to provide a Lego-like platform for plugging in arrays of tiny devices each sporting hundreds of contacts. The European research group also is developing a handful of techniques to interface electronics with the body, some of them working at the level of individual cells.
    The efforts are part of a broad industry trend to expand the benefits of implanted electronics down to the molecular level. Researchers believe nanometer-scale electronics will be able to provide highly refined and personalized diagnosis and therapies.

  2. Johan.T Mar 26th 2010

    Finally, programs in neuroscience are springing up at colleges and universities around the country. The programs should include discussions of science policy, such as: How do the sources of research funds affect the direction of science and social change? Which uses of brain research are acceptable, and which are not? And what limits should society, perhaps acting through scientific associations, place on the acceptable applications of neuroscience?

    Whatever the future holds for neuroscience, it would be naïve to suppose that national-security organizations are not monitoring developments in that field as they do in any other. It is time to start a reasoned public conversation about the role of brain research in national defense.

  3. Jhonny U.S.A Mar 29th 2010

    Wideband Link
    The implants used by Unity to achieve group consciousness. Unlike an ordinary neurointerface it connects to most of the cerebral cortex and has a much higher bandwidth. It can send and receive signals not just of primary sensory and motor information but also higher order associations and thoughts. Since each human has an individual “mental language” sophisticated translation systems and much training is required before digital telepathy is possible. Wideband links are also used by the Net Transcendence and Next Step Foundation in their experiments with expanding the human mind. One of the most controversial and interesting applications is to let software rewrite parts of the cortex; theoretically this could be the ultimate psychodesign, even if it is currently extremely crude. Some AIs are apparently interested in using this approach to “download” themselves to physical bodies.

    Common brands: Unity Neurotechnologies Wideband Link™, BridgeTech Neocortex Interface™.

    Medial forebrain pacemaker
    An implant in the motivation and pleasure centres that is controlled by the owner’s neurocomputer. It is illegal on Nova and very addictive: users quickly become hooked on anything that activates it. It can be used together with behaviour therapy to change habits and personality, a kind of bionic psychodesign: the user links the implant to some reward evaluator (such as a monitoring AI) that rewards certain actions. The result is a strong increase in rewarded actions, which can be used to produce extreme ambition or tenacity. Unfortunately the temptations and dangers of use are huge.

  4. KTH Stockholm (Kista) Apr 22nd 2010

    As intelligence or sensory “amplifiers”, the implantable chip will generate at least four benefits: 1) it will increase the dynamic range of senses, enabling, for example, seeing IR, UV, and chemical spectra; 2) it will enhance memory; 3) it will enable “cyberthink” — invisible communication with others when making decisions, and 4) it will enable consistent and constant access to information where and when it is needed. For many these enhancements will produce major improvements in the quality of life, or their survivability, or their performance in a job. The first prototype devices for these improvements in human functioning should be available in five years, with the military prototypes starting within ten years, and information workers using prototypes within fifteen years; general adoption will take roughly twenty to thirty years. The brain chip will probably function as a prosthetic cortical implant. The user’s visual cortex will receive stimulation from a computer based either on what a camera sees or based on an artificial “window” interface.

  5. Rudolp.A GERMANY May 7th 2010

    First, we have to remember that all sensory data we experience is converted into electrical signals that the brain can process. The brain does a very good job of this, and we in turn experience these inputs as subjective awareness (namely through consciousness and feelings of qualia); our perception of reality is therefore nothing more than the brain’s interpretation of incoming sensory information.

    Now imagine that you could stop this sensory data at the conversion point and replace it with something else.

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